Testing for HIV cant happen until at least 4 weeks after exposure to the virus, the test detects the antibodies rather than HIV itself.
It involves taking a little sample of blood analysis and some tests can give an instant result! These can be done at home or in a clinic.
Delaying testing and treatment will allow the virus to damage your immune system. It also means you could pass the virus to someone else.
HIV is treatable and preventable but not curable. If you are diagnosed with HIV, you will receive regular blood tests to see if your fighting cells have dropped in number.
If this is true then you will receive combinations of Antiretrovirals. HIV can quickly become resistant to certain ones so the doctor will pick the most effective combinations for your body.
If you think you’ve been exposed to HIV within the last 72 hours, you can take PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) which may stop you from contracting the virus.
It is a 28-day treatment of super strong drugs, but its not a guarantee that it will work.
This is a regular medication for people who not have HIV. PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is taken before sex and can reduce the chances of you contracting HIV. It has to be taken correctly.
You should still wear condoms when taking PrEP.
It was recently made available on the NHS for people who are at high risk, but not available in all sexual health clinics as of yet.
If you are considering buying this online make sure you check it is a reliable source.
⚡ I am not a health professional. I am qualified in RSE but I am not a doctor. Content for this page has been drawn from the NHS website and Brook.org.uk. Please head over to these great sites for more details.